Part of the responsibilities of a personal representative of a New York estate is to compile a list of estate assets to determine the value of the estate in order to pay claims and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. Typically, the personal representative hires an estate attorney in NYC to assist with locating the assets, preparing the accountings, reviewing claims, selling and distributing estate assets to the beneficiaries and other estate matters. Depending on the type and number of assets involved, the personal representative may also need to hire additional professionals such as an appraiser or a New York Realtor to determine the value of the property or to help with the sale or management of the property.
Probate attorneys often have to liquidate estate property
Assets that are held in the sole name of the decedent at the time of the decedent’s death are subject to probate and must be approved by the New York Surrogate’s Court prior to the sale. Assets held jointly such as real estate or which have been transferred to a trust, transfer automatically to the beneficiary and are exempt from probate. Whether assets are exempt from probate or not, sometimes they may still need to be sold when there are not enough assets to pay the decedent’s creditors. This means that since New York law does not allow real estate or automobiles to be transferred with transfer-on-death deeds, the beneficiary may not always receive the property that the decedent intended the beneficiary to have if it must be sold.
For instance, if you mom left you her house, but the house needs to be sold to pay her creditors, then you would not get title to the house, but you may still get any proceeds remaining from the sale of the house after her creditors and estate taxes have been paid.
Assets That May Need to Be Sold
Assets that may typically need to be sold include the following:
- A single-family house, apartment building, co-op, townhouse or a condo
- Vacation real estate such as vacation home, timeshare or ownership of other resort property
- Stocks and bonds and other real estate investments
- Sale of a business
- Sale of artwork, coins or other collectibles such a antiques or classic cars
The personal representative of the estate has the responsibility of deciding which assets should or should not be sold. Even if no assets need to be sold, they can still be put up for sale if the personal representative deems the sale to be in the best interests of the estate.
New York Probate and Estate Attorney
If you are a personal representative of a New York estate and need to sell estate assets, or need assistance or legal advice regarding other estate matters, it is recommended that you hire a New York probate and estate attorney to help you. St. Pre Law Firm, P.S. represents personal representatives, beneficiaries, heirs, creditors and other interested parties to an estate. Give us a call – we will do the job.